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XXVII. the lead-up to the proposal.

Yvonne also took leave for the day to provide another helping hand. I involved her for two main reasons. I wanted Huiyi to share this precious moment with her best friend, and I needed someone to safeguard the equipment at the pier while Gideon and Caleb waited for me to arrive. They were camping in the gents where I was going to change into my evening attire.

By the time I hopped into the Subaru, the crew reported their 100% readiness for Project Will-You-Marry-Me. The placards were pasted onto the railings, the guitar was in place, and the camera crew was in position. This was it – now we were only waiting for the stars of the show to arrive!

I drove into the clubhouse car park and parked at the first available car park lot I found because I was afraid that Huiyi may recognise Gideon’s car. Thank God he’s a smart boy – he parked in an obscure lot. We gathered our barang-barang, and I took my time with this because it was crucial that I didn’t miss out on any item, and exited the car for the lift lobby.

We had to change into our evening attire as we were in still in our sweaty and smelly USS tee-shirt and shorts. I managed to persuade her into wearing that Zara blouse; a week ago, I asked her why I haven’t seen her in that blouse for such a long time. I even pretended to lament, “Such a nice and expensive top, but yet you don’t wear it often enough…” She said she had already put it aside for Perth. Yes, she had also intended to wear that blouse for the proposal that she thought I was going to execute in Perth.

I frowned and told her that she has more than enough time to get it washed and packed for Perth. I persuaded her to wear something nice at Privé since it was a high-end restaurant. Again, she obediently complied with little resistance. I think it’s because every girl would want to look good on her birthday. Dining at a posh restaurant was my excuse to change into something pretty.

Next chapter: the change parade and the final countdown.

XXV. the actual visit to USS.

See the rest of the photo album here.

It was crucial that we secured the Subaru Impreza (Huiyi’s mother’s car) for the day and Huiyi used her birthday trump card to ensure that. She picked me up in the morning, not knowing that I had barely three hours of rest the night before; I was tying up all the loose ends of what would be the most exciting day of our courtship so far.

We ate a simple breakfast of chai tow kuay and chwee kuay at Ghim Moh Market. Then we drove to Telok Blangah Road and parked the car behind Seah Imm Food Centre, displaying a dashboard full of coupons to ensure that we didn’t receive a parking summon when we returned from USS.

Then I asked her if she wanted to take the bus or the monorail into Sentosa. It would have been my third time if we took the bus but I had to pretend that it was my first time attempting to enter USS. She opted for the monorail.

We entered USS together – her first time and my third – and I felt so terrible and guilty having to act surprised, astonished and impressed by all the sights and sounds we were taking in.

  • “Let’s try to find the map of this place.” (I could navigate USS with my eyes closed.)
  • “Look, Kungfu Panda! Let’s take a picture with him!” (This was my third time seeing Po.)
  • “This place is really cool uh? I didn’t know it’d be so crowded.” (I knew all along.)
  • “We can pick up a couple of souvenirs at the gift shop later if you want.” (There’s nothing nice in there.)
  • “Huh? We’ve walked one round already? USS is smaller than I thought!” (Same thing I told Rudith… Twice!)
  • “Let’s look for the washroom.” (I pretended to study the map.)
  • “Dear, what’s Universal Express Pass?” (I wanted to answer my own question…)
  • “Shall we have lunch at Coffeebean instead?” (I wanted to avoid the overpriced and overrated restaurants in USS.)

After we queued up for and completed our first ride (Shrek in 4D), we decided that we should each pay $30 extra and purchase the express pass. And we were glad we did because we took all but two rides and didn’t get a chance to revisit a ride! More importantly, the $60 spent helped to prevent disappointment; the only ride that urged for a repeated attempt was Battlestar Galactica. The other rides simply did not justify the waiting time.

Next chapter: the rain on my parade.

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